Katie and Kevin Tsang penned a special Dragon Realm story in honour of World Book Day. Like the 5 books in the series, this short story is another fun adventure featuring Billy Chan and all the other characters that readers have come to love. Today, we chat with Katie and Kevin about how they ensure new readers will also love A Dragon Realm Adventure, and all their favourite dragons from pop culture.
First of all, a fun question – can you share with us your favourite dragon characters from animes, books, shows etc?
There are so many amazing dragons in pop culture! Kevin loved Dragon Ball Z as a kid so he is a fan of the dragon Shenron. And we know there aren’t any dragons in it, but if we are talking about anime, Katie has to give a shoutout to her favorite childhood anime show—Sailor Moon! She now wishes that Sailor Moon had ridden on a dragon.
One of Katie’s favorite childhood dragon was the truly terrifying but also amazing dragon that Malificent turns into in Sleeping Beauty. That one definitely helped inspire our big baddie, the Dragon of Death! We also both love Mushu from Mulan – so sassy and funny, and a really great dragon companion.
As a child, Katie also loved the dragon from the classic children’s book ‘My Father’s Dragon’ by Ruth Stiles Gannett. And of course we are big fans of How to Train Your Dragon, and more recently we really enjoyed the show The Dragon Prince.
And we both love all the amazing and epic dragons in Samantha Shannon’s PRIORY OF THE ORANGE TREE. Katie also very much enjoyed the dragons in BURN by Patrick Ness.
Finally, we have to mention DRAGON HEART, a film that Katie loved as a child but that Kevin didn’t see until he was an adult. Sean Connery as a dragon! A shared heart between the dragon and the villain! So much to love.
The best part about writing about dragons is that there is no limit to what you can imagine and dream up. We love seeing all the different kinds of dragons there are in books and pop culture, and then creating our own.
You two are great at writing about dragons but between the two of you, who can draw a better dragon?
Drawing is definitely not one of our strengths—but we love to draw for fun with our kids! Kevin is probably the better artist out of the two of us.
Each Dragon Realm book is much longer compared to this World Book Day title. How did it affect the planning and writing process?
We loved writing a short and contained dragon adventure. By the time we wrote the WBD book, we had already written five full-length DRAGON REALM novels, so we really knew the characters and the world. And while A DRAGON REALM ADVENTURE absolutely can be read by anyone, including people new to the series, if you have read the first books, we think you’ll enjoy seeing some old friends and meeting new dragons! And, excitingly, there are a few clues in A DRAGON REALM ADVENTURE for things to come in our new series, DRAGON FORCE.
Given there are already 5 books in the series, and with so many characters, was it difficult to ensure new readers can connect with and understand the story?
The trickiest part was figuring out what information to share so it made sense to readers, while not spoiling too much of what happened in previous books! We had to do a little bit of explaining so readers understand why there are dragons flying around London, but once that is established, the story is just an exciting standalone adventure! Of course there are characters that feature in previous books, as well as hints of things to come in our future series, but the book stands alone as its own complete and contained adventure.
We also had an author friend who hasn’t read any of the Dragon Realm books yet read our WBD book to make sure it made sense to her, which was really helpful!
While we have already met many different dragons along the series, we meet a pretty special group – the Diamond Clan dragons – in this book. How did you come up with that?
Thank you! We loved writing the Diamond Clan! We wanted to include some new exciting dragons, and we loved the idea of gemstone dragons, and we hadn’t done that before, so it felt fresh and fun. We try to write very visually, and we felt like dragons that looked like they were made out of giant gemstones was a really unique and visually interesting concept, and once we had that idea, we were able to come up with their backstory and their powers. Coming up with new dragons is our favorite part of the writing process. And there are even MORE fun new dragons to meet in our new series coming in September!
You can win ALL 5 books in the Dragon Realm series here!